The year of 2017

It was a very productive 2017 for me with lots of trips and new experiences, meeting more amazing people and creating more artistic works.

I have worked with such wonderful people with CAN team and also all of the Artists and teams I worked in different projects, such as the wonderful Jerwood Creative Fellows and the Talent Development team at MIF.

Getting the opportunity to travel to different countries this year was also another amazing experience I added to my journey this year.

I also get to know more about artists I knew for years and when you get to know them it will help you to see more of their talent and get inspired and one of them of course is my husband Mohammad which we wrote our piece for ‘Flying carpets’ together.

Here is the list of my works to remember this year:

  • Being the Digital Artist for Youth Art Programme 2016-17 with 2 performances in Leigh ‘Wizard of Leigh’ and Alice in Leigh’ by wonderful kamosi and ‘Snow Dragons’ as part Youth National Theatre at HOME by our CAN Young Artists
    ‘The Snow Dragons’
  • Digital Artist and Digital producer for ‘Outside the Frame Arts’ new arts collective based in Manchester that aims to raise the profile of underrepresented and marginalised communities by giving a platform to those absent from the mainstream and using the arts to challenge the status quo.
    Plat form for Palestinian Arts by ‘Outside The Frame Arts’
  • Receiving the Jerwood Creative Fellowship at Manchester International Festival
  • Digital Artist and Animator for International Women’s Day 2017 at Pankhurst Centre
    Pankhurst Centre Animation Workshop
  • Digital Artist for the co-creation documentary ‘Bright As The Moon’ working with Netherlands as part of European Cultural Foundation for TANDEM project
    ‘Bright As The Moon’
  • Digital Artist and Film Maker for the panel of ‘Migration and Health’ webinars by World Health Organisation at United Nation City in Copenhagen
  • Writer and Director of ‘Dance The Lash’ as part of Flying carpets performance at Manchester Museum as part of Journeys Festival international 2017
    Flying Carpets
  • Receiving the Digital Commission ‘Bringing Poetry into Code Generation’ by Commonword
  • Leading the first taster of Artists HUB in Contact theatre as part of Journeys Festival international 2017
    Artist HUB
  • Presenting our TANDEM documentary and Artist HUB at Platfroma 2017 in Newcastle.
  • Presenting my artistic work and Show and Tell at HOME
  • Creating and leading the DIPACT project to start its planning and creating the team of diverse artist from Manchester to produce a performance on Japan Day 2018 by an innovative new co-creation process, more news coming in 2018

I don’t know if I left anything but YUP it was a super duper productive year and it’s great to look back at the year and appreciate all these works and looking forward to the new year.

I know it feels weird but I still think I have not started yet and what I have done was all practice and experience to take bigger steps.



First Artist HUB

I am creating and leading the first Refugee Artist HUB that will also be a platform for diverse Artists to meet and work on creative ideas in new ways and method. Both Refugees and Diverse Artist and also people who work with Refugees are more than welcome.

Here is the information:



Tues 10 – Thurs 12 October 2017
At Contact Lounge, CONTACT, Oxford Rd, M15 6JA
5-7 pm

The Refugee Artist HUB is a free creative and informal opportunity for refugee artists in Manchester to meet and exchange ideas. Led by Mahboobeh Rajabi, digital artist and Manchester International Festival’s Jerwood Creative Fellow 2017, the HUB marks the beginning of a new creative network for refugee artists in Manchester.

Participants in the HUB can also have one free ticket to see the following performance:


#JeSuis (In Progress) at Contact 10 – 12 October

The award winning contemporary dance #JeSuis (In Progress) by Aakash Odedra Company. Exploring personal stories of conflict, media manipulation, displacement and identity. What makes “home” when millions are on the move?

To book your free ticket and for more information please contact:

Mahboobeh Rajabi
Mobile: 07426000762

Health & Migration Webinar at United Nation City

I am honoured to be in the panel for Migration and Health called ‘True Stories’ by World Health Organisation at the United Nation City in Copenhagen on Tuesday 8th of August.


  • Bernadette Kumar, Associate Professor – Department of Community Medicine and Global Health, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Domenico Sergi, Curator and Community Engagement Coordinator, Horniman Museum and Gardens, United Kingdom
  • Mahboobeh Rajabi, Digital Artist, Community Arts North West, United Kingdom


  • Dr Erinma Ochu, Lecturer, Digital Science Communication, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, United Kingdom

The webinar focus was the importance of responsible, meaningful and compelling communication efforts to evoke positive change for migrants, refugees and host communities. During the course of the discussion, we hope to provide some food for thought about the importance of telling compelling stories in order to connect and
engage with audiences, while at the same time staying factual and reducing sensationalism.

Key Objectives:

  • To offer insights into the way narratives (stories) can be constructed and communicated in order to positively impact on public opinion and government policy.
  • To explore ways of effectively dispelling public health myths regarding refugees and migrants.
  • To promote social inclusion and respect for diversity via formal and informal means.

I talked about Community Arts as one of the most important Social Model, Intercultural Communication and the importance of the arts and what healthcare professionals can learn and offer to effective advocacy around migration and health.

I also focused on the importance on creating opportunities for Refugees and Asylum Seekers to respond to Media to create the communication that will show their true identity and not only the traumatic image of the force leave. I explained the different methods of the responds which are the creative ways of making video, animation and theatre that both give opportunity to refugees and asylum seekers to improve their confidence and an educational tool to raise awareness to the public around their situation.

The importance of empowering the individuals was also one of the main parts of the discussion that I discussed. I mentioned the value of the support through community Arts that helps Refugee and Asylum Seekers to reconstruct their identity which is the most important key to help them to engage to society and building their lives.

I believe there is a huge need to speak up about the issues that is not getting resolved around migration and especially Refugees and all caught up to the paper works based on the structures that needs to be changed. So many organisations across the world are working on same old actions which needs a risk to change. These webinars starting by global organisations is a great start and I will be a part as much as it needs to see the change. There are so many evidence on some great projects that took risks and made changes.

It was also amazing to hear the important points from Dr Bernadette Kumar around the understanding of the myth around migrants and refugees health and what needs to be done. Also the experience of the works of  Dr Domenico Sergi in the Horniman Museum and what he mentioned regarding engaging public to these works to understand migrants and refugees was the key points to take more actions.

You can watch the full webinar here soon …

MIF Jerwood Creative Fellowship Follow up

The Count Down Started to MIF:

So it’s only 2 days left to the opening of the biggest festival in Manchester which is ‘Manchester International Festival’ and follow up my previous posts, I am proud to be the Jerwood Creative Fellow for the MIF 2017 with other 5 amazing Artists that I introduced in my previous post.

My commission to work with is ‘Party Skills for the End of the World’.

The intense 3 weeks of rehearsals was SUPER CREATIVE and exhausting and the team is on the work full days, which is the spirit of these form of theatre. The most interesting parts for me see the full process of choosing the building few month a go and checking it out with the team to see all those design meetings and work coming to live up to now.


The decision processes on which skills to use and the making process was one of the highlights on my observation. Beside that, as always, the process on working with the actors to bring the idea to life, was really interesting.

I look at the methods, the minutes on letting the actors find the reaction and look at the reason why they are doing those acts in different scenes. I look at the communication between the design team and production and what is interesting in between for me, it’s the connection between performers and design makers and understanding the atmosphere that is getting created in the building, which is ‘The End of The World’ and we are having a PARTY!

It’s kind a post-post Modernism and the understanding in symbolism is an essential when you are making an ABSTRACT form of theatre. In cases like ‘Party Skills’ you are also having participants and you have a a duty to also make them understand what you are making as a theatre maker.

My personal and professional way of work is always making sure that the actors I am working with, understand the theme and the ‘NOT REALITY’ nature and core in the work but mixing with REAL actions, so I always make sure of that and I always use of symbolism example. I am also always really interested to get the actor observation whcih always add to the co-creation process.

I have to say it was less of the actors observation on the work but still the co-creation process is hugely interesting with such a big team of also participants that are not performers. It might be scary for some theatre makers but definitely not for me and Louise and Nigel. I believe it’s our connection and why I am partying the end of the world with them.

I can see how the participants is enjoying the theme and that shows a power point on this show that it’s working. The energy in performers is also shows that YES the show is ready because now they know it’s time to PARTY at the end of the World.

I believe the confidence in knowing of ‘what your message will be’ is the key and you also need to transfer it to your team, so I believe this is the challenge to see how far you can bring in it on table and feed your team of your ideas.

The rehearsals makes these harmony happen and my experience with the rehearsals was to see this harmony and how is going in a right direction.

I have to say some of the decision process was totally different from my point of view as a theatre maker and some of them is my challenges. I see it as a strong point of my fellowship to also going back on my decisions and looking at my method.

I did not enjoy just doing observations and being quiet but it goes back to the intense rehearsal and understanding the situation. I should not forget the big scale of the project and because I was always involve in same projects with big number of participants, I understand this time which is important to use the best of it.

I believe I can bring positive suggestion on creating more space, involvement and communication with the commission teams in the fellowship for next years in my feedback, but so far the opportunity is what we needed in Manchester in order to make the connection to the festival. It also helped us, at the same time, taking our methods and decisions in to consideration. I strongly believe that being a part of my commission made me believing more on my practice and also what I learned will have a huge positive impact on my future works.

The network and connection between the projects and local Artists and communities shows that this decision of fellowship is going on a very positive direction and I am sure we, as Jerwood creative Fellows, can take it to higher level with our feedback and experience. I look forward to meet the team soon.

It’s okay for today because I can’t wait for the opening and the shows to begin and I will write about them all.

I am ready and my preparation is staring on my own commission: ‘Party Skills for the End of the World’:






My Jerwood Creative Fellowship with MIF

It’s time to write about my experience as Jerwood Creative Fellow at MIF.

We are 6 local Artists with different skills and each of us working on different projects. Here are us:

  • Hafsah Aneela Bashir, a poet and spoken word artist who’ll be helping Theatre-Rites prepare for The Welcoming Party
  • Chanje Kunda, a poet, playwright and performance artist who’ll be travelling to Fatherland
  • Amy Lawrence, a live and visual artist who’ll be going behind the scenes with Boris Charmatz as he creates 10000 Gestures
  • Erinma Ochu, a writer and producer who’ll be joining Yael Bartana and her team as they ask What if Women Ruled the World?
  • Mahboobeh Rajabi, a digital artist, animator, filmmaker and theatre director who’ll be testing out her Party Skills for the End of the World
  • Simon Bray, a photographer who’ll be shadowing Hong Kong artist Samson Young as he tells One of Two Stories, or Both.

First we had our first meeting April and it was absolutely amazing to work with a team with different skills but a same vision. The great news of this opportunity by MIF to link with local Artists in Manchester which has a great diversity and different nationalities who are making Art in this city.

I am working with ‘Party Skills for The End of The World’ created by Nigel Barrett, Louise Mari and Abigail Conway. This is such a  co-creative process and we had more than 90 people came to 4 events so far. I leave the details for my next posts, because currently I am creating like a co-creation map of my experience.

Being the Digital Artists for #TANDEM Europe this year and focusing on co-creation and creating a documentary and also taking my directing courses focusing on co-creative process of making theatre and thinking about even more innovative of doing performances, #PartySkills is the actual project that will enhance my knowledge and experience.

I will definitely write more when my co-creative map got ready.

One of the most important point for me to be a MIF Jerwood Fellow, is the creating this relationship with the Festival which is an international but always the actual diversity inside of the city was not a part of the festival, which is changing now.

I always believed in the the concept of the team work and collaboration not only one focus direction by one person, especially with my theatre background, studying ina theatre school that it’s foundation was based on the ‘School of Theatre and Music’ by Stanislavsky and Nemirovich Danchenko. I still used some great pints and practices by them especially Danchenko regarding ‘Who is Theatre Director’. (I also did a full presentation on taht when I was 18 in IRAN). But I love creative and collaboration works.

I absolutely enjoyed having creative meetings with fellows. This is also an opportunity to learn from each other and work together at the same time promoting this amazing way of linking to the MIF which is also promoting the shows.

More is still to come …

to be continued …


BIG Announcement

I started 2017 with such amazing news.

I had meetings for my Innovative Digital Performance Idea and all has been hugely successful in January and February (basically up until now) I can see the foundation of my idea which is my experiences in the world of Digital, Media and also theatre.

The more big news is that I got Jerwood Creative Fellowship to work with Manchester International Festival @mifestival and also I am the Digital Artist for #TANDEMeurope this year, with my wonderful manager Sara Domville, working with Community Arts North West (CAN) and ‘Stichting de Vrolijkheid’ in #Amsterdam . I am looking forward to do amazing #Art projects in 2017.

I will be updating soon because I have my editing for the exciting Outside The Frame Arts Event 11th of March.

All great, exciting and productive stuff  🙂

P.S. New update:

I am proud to be working with Women’s Aid and Pankhurst Centre for the second year for International Women’s Day 2017, doing an animation workshop to send our message in IWD #BeBoldForChange .

it’s more than 6 years for me working also with women with different backgrounds to make art and sending our message to the world that women should never be treated any differently because they are women especially in the countries that women are treated second level citizens and have no rights and treated as a sex stuff to produce kids … It’s more than 5 years of starting Freedom Bird blog which got continued when I started more projects with women like Rule 35 at CAN and the working and producing videos and art works by women to send our message.

Also I am proud to work with women who are suffering any other situations and it made them vulnerable in different organisation in Manchester and Greater Manchester and they need get their voice out there.

More great news to be continued …


My Recent Art Works

So basically life been fantastically productive for me after finishing Youth Art programme 2015-16 in March.

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I have started ‘Hidden Tales, From The Rochdale Underground’ project as the Digital Artist/Animator, which is an 18 month project to give expression to the unique wit and profound narrative of the Petrus service users and volunteers, by creating Digital stories such as short films, animation, poetry films and etc.

I have produced few animations and my main work was No Mean Feet which is a Motion Graphic Photography video based on an amazing poem by one of the service users of Petrus which is also the photographer of the images in the video. We had an amazing event 20th October at Touch Stones Arts and Heritage Centre with nearly 90 audiences and we received such powerful and positive feedback.

14708283_1071344692985187_3294945086740621813_n (1)

I have also continued working on creating documentaries on Homeless issue in Manchester which is getting worst and I worked with Mancunian Way amazing project “Change 4 Good” and I have produced Change 4 Good Project video and we are continuing our work and research to stop the homelessness in Manchester.

By continuing my work as Digital Marketing Admin, Digital Artist and Media Content Producer for CAN, I have met with 2 big and well known Artists from my country Iran which are living in Manchester, to bring them back to the Art world in the UK.

I have also worked with Contact Theatre and Z-Arts to produce Testimony video for an interactive show By Darren Pritchard, staring Yvonne Shelton.

I have also got published in Elevator fiction book by Common word as one of their BAME writers which was an other fantastic achievement for me.


By working on so many Digital and Media works, I have been invited to Rethink Digital Conference this year at HOME MCR to look at what is next as Digital for Manchester which is expecting to be a Digital City in the UK.


Continuing my visual Research on Far East of Asia mainly Japanese Mythology after massive succes on ‘Amaterasu, Goddess of The Sun’ project 2014-15, I have developed some more ideas and we agreed on doing a Digital Innovative Performance for Japan Day 2018 which she said Japan society of North West (JSNW) is so excited about and they would love to make it happen and they ask me to be in charge. I have discussed it with CAN and HOME MCR I have been accepted to do two Directing Course with HOME with 9 other Artists to start Directing Theatre. It was such an amazing opportunity for me at the same time starting the Digital Innovative project with JSNW and also my background in Iran as a Theatre Director, worked together for me to make the best of these two courses.

In my first course  I have worked with with Walter Meierjohann (Artistic Director of HOME), John McGrath (MIF), Richard Gregory (Quarantine Theatre), JMK Trust and Zoonation.

The second course was with Lily Sykes as part of Berlin Now festival looking at Germany Theatre and the directing style form there which was really amazing and different and I have learned a lot. It made me to look at Germany expressionists style mainly inset design and looking at different styles in directing and producing a theatre piece.

I am doing more planning for the end of this year to start this Digital Innovative Project for 2017-18 which is so exciting for me working with also some Japanese companies and Artists.

The project ‘Outside The Frame Arts’ which is collaborating BAME Artists in Manchester & Palestinian writers to deliver series of writing & theatre workshops, and I am the Digital Artist and Digital Producer for this project, got funded by Arts Council and we finally started which is an incredible news.

I am currently excited to working with Youth Art Programme 2016-17, again as the Digital Media Content Producer for the third year and continuing my work as the Digital Marketing Admin and Digital Artist/Producer specially for a new Digital Innovative Project.

WOW! it’s been such a fantastic year for me and I know it’s a bit soon to say but we are already in November and I look forward to 2017 and creating and producing more Arts works.


My new poem “Confessa In The Present”


This is my new poem for my sessions at the Common Word.

I have to add the sessions from last year been amazing for me and I performed two times and now I am going through bringing my “Inside Persian Poetry” out to English as a Persian girl  🙂  I am getting there #Feeling Productive Also check the P.S at the end

Confessa In The Present       by Mahboobeh Rajabi

Scene 1:  Confessa In …

Just under the neck
going through the middle of my body
Where it’s called “chest”
Is heavy …

Is so heavy that’s like someone put a heavy rock on it
I can still breathe, but it’s heavy
I punch it while I inhale and exhale deeply
But it’s not working
I close my eyes for just listening to my body and my breathing

My chest is going up, inhaling the universe of thoughts
The plan is to exhale the “Nothing”
And just the thought of breathing

Inhale …. Deeply … Stop …

Stop …
How can I destroy a universe?
I never learned that
The Big Bang didn’t end yet

So how can I expect myself to end it?

My chest is heavy

Full of universes that couldn’t get destroy by exhale

I just need to confess it

And the thought of Confessa and it’s melody

Dragging my soul to the galaxy of broken but healed hearts

My pen is is like an ocean now

Each wave is a word, same time of my breathing
It lands the words on the sands:

I, whom has her name, carved in the stone of Love
Made the sky roar
when that question from the winds
stays with no answer

I teared that way of the oxygen
that made my heart beat
I listened to all person’s words
My heart was just beating
I teared it from what was the Hard Air
My heart was just beating
I teared from those capillaries of quiet

The sky roared in my throat
the clouds rained on my reaped chest
It washed the blood and clots of death
Then I put my heart back to my chest
deep breath finally heard
my beatings

The love is pouring from the sound of the lenses of the camera of the Earth
I submit all the timeless moments full of new existence feelings
and being submitted on this earth
my name was at the top
it was timeless and free

Scene 2:  The Present

The owth to that look,

Staring to the paralyzed far

That tied up to the part part of the soul

To the melody of time and trauma

Every note has a saying

From a love story

The word from the past, incredible memories

Or a paralyzed trauma

From nowhere of drama

I crossed the time

The sky got happy

Universe crossed my soul

The galaxy became a memory

The names began

The words woke up

A journey started

A quiet and far journey

A backpack full of questions

A spite from the past

And a cup of missing feelings and pains

But this journey started

Even though my backpack

Got heavy with pain

I continued the way

Whatever from the capacity of an intense past

My shoulders cried

I continued the way

But got in my way

My full backpack

As the time got heavier

The body got slower

Again had to stop and think

Make a decision, from the beginning

Sometimes at the climax of tolerance

It’s like you were just rounding around yourself

All the way through …

It was hard … It was hard

I asked myself

Where am I in the story?

Where is this part of the drama?

Full of pain …

With “ A 100 No Answer Questions”

With a backpack drawn on to my life stories

With a glance on my backpack

My shoulder couldn’t bare

I felt on my knees

In the climax of pain

I put on the ground

My full backpack

Whatever was the way

Became easier to take

Till today

I didn’t take

Any backpack

For no reason …

I continued the way … the drama … the trauma

I continued


P.S  The life had been busy but exciting and productive. I will start my Digital and Animation workshops in Rochdale this week that I am looking forward to and I am also going through sorting out some unfair matters which is hard but I believe it’s making me stronger to learn my lessons and fight more and the biggest lesson is that you will help the people in your position and going through similar situation.

“Life is a fighting for a better me and making me feel better by understanding helping people in the similar fight.”  Quote from me today #AllCopyRightsReserved  🙂


My New Promo Video for CAN Young Artists #CYA


I want to proudly present my new promo video for “What’s Done Is Done” performance that been created by CAN Young Artists as part of world stage.

The project started in partnership with HOME MCR and it will be on 19th of March at HOME.

I also created the 3D logo and 3D motion video work that I am really proud and I would definitely continue to add Motion Graphic to my videos and of course more 3D experience in my animation works.

It was a fantastic experience working with these young talented Artists as I knew a few of them from 2 years a go and it was amazing to see them grow and shine.

Documenting the sessions and seeing all the improvements and the process even gave me more courage to work more on creating best visual productions to release and let Manchester and UK know such powerful projects is happening and I am honoured to be a part of it.

As always Community Arts North West created a magnificent piece of ART plus giving opportunity to young people to find their skills and use them in professional way.

Please have a look at the video and share  🙂



Second Documentary & New Animation


Second Documentary

Helllow universe

I finally finished the second documentary with my good friend and writer Marcela Hervia about the homeless issue in Manchester. (About 3 weeks a go but haven’t got time to blog!) When me and Marcela finished the first video it wasn’t any news about any good shelter for them but now there are news that empty buildings will be open for them so hopefully the promises are genuine and we won’t see anyone sleeping rough in this cold winter.

The main thing for me that kept me thinking A LOT is seeing young people on the streets that is not good for the future of a city because those young people are the future. In any situation they need help and direction and I hope they will be taken seriously to be out of the streets and get their lives back.

I don’t know why being homeless became a badge and the forever dark at the end of the tunnel when as a human we know life has ups and downs and everybody deserve help and chances to live as long as they are breathing.

I will write about it soon but … yeah … it just broke my heart watching people living in the streets in the Manchester and as it gets worst from more than 5 years a go till now.

I also made a short comedy animation from one of my short pieces at Commonword Identity writing workshop.

It will be screened at CAN‘s “Community Spirit” event at Mad lab and in Filmonik at old corner house (MMU) and I will upload in youtube soon.

I just invite everyone to watch my documentary just below and let’s not think about the BUSY schedule before Christmas and … yeah I’m fine and I will write about it soon.